A human rights group, Centre for Social Justice and Equity of Nigeria, CESJEN, has demanded the sack of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, over the latest scandal involving her academic qualification.
The group, in a statement on Monday, said her continued stay in office could discredit the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Ms. Oduah claimed to have obtained a Bachelor and Master of Business Administration Degrees from St. Paul’s College in the United States.
The institution, however, denied awarding her an MBA, saying it never ran a graduate school or graduate programme in its 25 years of existence. Sometime last year, the minister was involved in another scandal for allegedly purchasing two armoured cars at an inflated cost of N255 million.
The House of Representatives subsequently approved the recommendation of its Aviation Committee asking the President to review her appointment. In the statement signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mubarak Adegoke, CESJEN said Ms. Oduah’s retention in office would expose Mr. Jonathan’s lackadaisical attitude to the fight against corruption.
The group urged the Senate and the House of Representatives to jointly pass a resolution mandating the president to relieve the minister of her job. It warned that the refusal of both chambers of the federal legislature to adopt the resolution could portray the lawmakers as encouraging corruption in Nigeria.
“The level of corruption in the nation has given it another name before the Comity of Nations and it has eroded Nigeria its respect as the giant of Africa,” CESJEN said.
“Mrs. Stella Oduah has proved to the world that she is an agent of corruption and certificate forgery.” While commending the House of Representatives and the Presidential panel for indicting Ms. Oduah in their respective reports on the purchase of the armoured cars, the group appealed to well meaning Nigerians, particularly those in the aviation industry to mount pressure on Mr. Jonathan to sack the minister without further delay in order to save the strategic industry. It said there were sufficient evidences to use in prosecuting the minister for corruption and forgery.